Family

[8] Julie Andrews stars as a magical nanny who swoops into a turn-of-the-century London family’s home to help two neglected children (Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber) reconnect with their busy-body parents. Mary Poppins is often regarded the best of Walt Disney’s live-action efforts, thanks to an effervescent combination of music and fantasy, and charismatic performances from Andrews and co-star Dick Van Dyke, who plays a …

[3] Vying with Nazi Germany to create ties in South American countries during World War II, the U.S. government guaranteed Walt Disney federal loans to produce animated films celebrating South American culture. Saludos Amigos is the first resulting film from this strategic effort (the second would be The Three Caballeros). It would also be the first of Disney’s “package” features — combinations of short subjects …

[8.0] The Brave Little Toaster bares the title of an innocuous children’s cartoon, but there’s more to this gem than may initially meet the eye. First, know that Pixar Animation founder John Lasseter originally pitched this movie as his first computer-animated feature, an honor that later went to the similarly-themed Toy Story. Many of the top talent from The Brave Little Toaster went on to …

[6] George Cukor directs Katharine Hepburn as Jo March in one of the earliest screen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, a chronicle of the lives and loves of four sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War. There’s intrinsic nostalgia and sentimentality to the storytelling, but Cukor never lets the film become maudlin. That’s largely owed to Hepburn’s contribution. The then-controversial …

[7] Five young dinosaurs are separated from their tribes during an earthquake in this animated adventure from Don Bluth (The Secret of NIMH, Anastasia). The unlikely band must square off against a ferocious ‘sharp tooth’ (Tyrannosaurus rex) while searching for a lush new feeding ground where they hope to be reunited with their families — overcoming prejudice and learning the value of cooperation along the …

[3.0] In an abstract void of color gradation, it’s Donald Duck’s birthday. He magically receives three strange presents that transform into song-and-dance lessons about Mexico and South America, featuring two other cartoon birds named José Carioca (a parrot) and Panchito (a rooster). A five-year old might be entranced by the bright Technicolor imagery and lively music featured in The Three Caballeros, but the frenetic pace …

[7.0] Pixar’s Onward takes place in a world of elves, trolls, dragons, and unicorns, but it’s also a world where all these creatures have forgotten how to use their magic. So their world is a lot like ours — centaurs are cops, fairies ride motorbikes, and unicorns eat trash out of dumpsters. The heroes of our story are two elf brothers — one who believes …

[8.0] Will Ferrell stars as a human adopted by Santa Claus and raised as an elf in this absurd but disarmingly sweet comedy from director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Mandalorian). At the ripe old age of thirty, Ferrell’s character learns he’s really a human and departs the North Pole to find his birth father in New York City. But convincing dear dad (James Caan) …

[3.0] In the sewers beneath New York City, a big talking rat trains four big talking turtles to become ninja warriors so they can be shadowy superheroes to would-be victims in the night. Now, right away, you’re either going to run with this or you’re not. I can run with it — but what I can’t run with in this first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles …

[3.0] Scoob! marks the first time Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang have been brought to life via computer animation, which is a great way to reboot a classic franchise. The film starts with a 10-minute origin story of how Shaggy met Scooby, and then how the duo teamed up with Fred, Daphne, and Velma while trick-or-treating (Velma’s costume is awesome). We see them solve …

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